Having TripAdvisor reviews is good for your business.
Why? Because reviews drive purchase decisions. They help shape your brand reputation. And they serve as great social proof needed to influence consumers. Reviews can even improve your search engine performance.
If your business is listed on TripAdvisor, it’s good practice to encourage your customers to review you on the travel website. (If your business isn’t listed, here’s how to do it.)
Some of the benefits of doing so include:
You can become more discoverable (and trustworthy). 83 percent of shoppers discover new businesses every month through online customer reviews. Research firm eMarketer adds that 7 percent of consumers need to read at least 20 reviews before they put enough trust in a business. More reviews will improve your TripAdvisor ranking.
The more reviews you have, the higher your ratings. A groundbreaking Cornell study found that the average rating for a business listed on TripAdvisor with 11 to 20 reviews is 3.5 out of 5, with “terrible” reviews (with a rating of 1) at close to 12 percent. But as a business gets more TripAdvisor reviews, the average rating increases to 3.9, with a total of 101 or more reviews.
Asking for reviews produces higher ratings than unprompted reviews. According to research, the average rating of reviews generated from review requests (businesses asking customers for reviews) is 4.34 stars out of 5: higher than the average rating of unprompted reviews (3.89 stars out of 5).
Here’s the good news: TripAdvisor doesn’t mind businesses asking customers for reviews. Unlike, say, Yelp, which frowns upon businesses encouraging customers to write reviews, TripAdvisor even provides free tools that you can use to drum up more reviews.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can encourage more reviews on TripAdvisor.
How to get more reviews on TripAdvisor
Send review request emails
If you want something, ask for it, right? The same holds true with reviews. Often, email outreach is a great way to connect with guests and customers. It’s also a great platform for encouraging TripAdvisor reviews.
Put careful thought to your review request emails and write them in a way that individually acknowledges each recipient. You can design the most dazzling email in the world, but you won’t achieve high open rates and response rates if the message feels cold and impersonal from the start.
Also, keep the emails short. If you would like them to review your business specifically on TripAdvisor, say so explicitly and provide clear instructions on how to do it. (Don’t forget the link to your TripAdvisor page.)
One tool you can use to collect reviews via email is ReviewTrackers’ Ask Tool.
The Ask Tool includes intelligent workflow features designed to make encouraging TripAdvisor reviews a breeze. You can create email campaigns, design beautiful message templates, and even automate follow-up with scheduled reminders and drip campaigns.
Send SMS messages to your customers
Did you know that 56 percent of all online reviews are posted from mobile devices? This makes SMS a great platform for encouraging TripAdvisor reviews.
Text messages are also opened at a 98 percent rate. And additional research shows that 90 percent of SMS messages are read within 3 minutes.
If you already have a database with your guests’ or customers’ mobile phone information, requesting TripAdvisor reviews via SMS can prove to be very effective. Here’s an example message you can take inspiration from:
- “Hi (First Name of Customer), thank you for doing business with us. Do you have 1 minute to share your experience with us and leave us a review on TripAdvisor? Just go here: (insert the link to your TripAdvisor business page). Thanks for your help!”
Print out custom reminder cards
Another great way to encourage TripAdvisor reviews is by creating reminder cards that you can print and distribute to guests at the point of sale or care.
TripAdvisor itself offers these types of cards. Here’s how to get them:
- Under the “Marketing Tools” tab in your TripAdvisor Management Center, select “Promotional Tools.”
- Select “Order Now” under Business Cards, then choose “Business Cards” in the promotional shop.
- Select and customize the reminder cards so that they fit your business.
- Once you’re pleased with your reminder cards, you can send them off to print. TripAdvisor offers the first 100 cards for free; you only have to pay for shipping.
Here’s an example of the reminder cards, customized by the Four Points by Sheraton in Bangkok.
Of course, you can create and print your own reminder cards using a tool like Canva. Distribute them at checkout, the end of a meal, or when the tour comes to an end.
Use TripAdvisor stickers
There are different types of TripAdvisor stickers. Some of them can be used to directly or indirectly request reviews from customers. The best sticker for encouraging TripAdvisor reviews is the one that says, “Review Us on TripAdvisor” or “Leave Us a Review on TripAdvisor.”
To order your stickers:
- Go to the TripAdvisor Sticker Request page and type in the name of your business or listing in the search bar.
- You’ll then see the lineup of stickers available for that listing below the name of the business. Choose the stickers that you want to use. You can also select the displayed language for the stickers.
- Enter your mailing information and click “Submit.”
Stickers ordered through TripAdvisor are free, but you will need to wait some time before they arrive at your doorstep. TripAdvisor estimates the shipping time to be up to six weeks by mail.
Be sure to put the TripAdvisor stickers in “high-traffic areas.” This can be the window next to the your front door, your checkout counter, or even on a small chalkboard that some shops put outside on the sidewalk.
Use review widgets
TripAdvisor offers a suite of free widgets that you can use on your own website to show off your stream of 5-star TripAdvisor reviews or encourage customers to leave reviews on your TripAdvisor page.
Review widgets can increase conversions on your site. They also serve as an effective prompt for customers to write reviews. Remember: reviews shape consumer perception and brand reputation.
More than convincing people where to book versus where not to, your reviews on TripAdvisor also serve as social proof for determining what to think about a certain business.
Based on the aforementioned Cornell study: as you get more reviews, the more likely it is you’ll achieve higher ratings. So apart from providing social proof for customers looking to make a purchase decision, reviews also provide social proof for how people perceive and what they should say about your business.
A customer’s opinion about, say, a TripAdvisor-listed restaurant with 200 reviews and an average rating of 4.5 stars is therefore less likely to go against the grain and differ from those who shared positive feedback. “This has great reviews, so I’m going to say the same about it.”
That’s why review widgets can be so powerful. You can check out the TripAdvisor Widget Center to see which widgets are available for a listing. Alternatively, you can use a professional review widget tool like Amplify to displays reviews anywhere on your website, build brand credibility, appear in higher search results, and drive more bookings and conversions.
Promote your TripAdvisor presence
Stickers, widgets, printed reminder cards, etc.: what these also do is promote your business presence on the world’s largest travel website. Extend these efforts by publicizing your TripAdvisor business page at every touch point.
There are so many touch points where you can do this: menus, compendiums, receipts and flyers, your social media channels, your website, your blog, your Wi-Fi login page. And if your business has received TripAdvisor awards like the Certificate of Excellence, or has been featured in the website’s lists like “Top 10 Hotels in Chicago,” be sure to make some noise about it.
Tip: don’t incentivize
If you’re asking customers to provide a review of your business on TripAdvisor, don’t give them incentives or rewards of any kind.
First of all, it might put them off, especially if they were happy with the experience and would probably write a review for free anyway.
Secondly, you don’t want regulators coming after you. Great reviews qualify as endorsements. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), if there’s any form of incentive or compensation or close relationship between the individual customer giving the endorsement and the business receiving it, then this should be made explicit.
Say thank you
Always take the time to show your appreciation to customers who responded to your request and posted online reviews on TripAdvisor. Again, it’s not recommended that you “incentivize,” but a simple thank you note will go a long way in demonstrating that yours is a business that cares about and values customer feedback.